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Lake Powell fishing report - stripers have moved up to big boy lures

Published July 25, 2014 8:33 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Lake Powell Fishing ReportJuly 1, 2014Lake Elevation: 3609.2Water Temperature 73-77 FBy: Wayne Gustaveson of Wayne's Words Stripers are settling into a feeding schedule which would be good for anglers to know about. Today we launched at first light from Stateline ramp in the southern lake. No surface activity was seen in Wahweap but as we came out of the Castle Rock Cut individual splashes were seen in the Warm Creek channel. It was not until we hit the shade from the high ridge on the east side of Warm Creek Bay that stripers began to join and feed in groups of 5-10 fish. If we could get close enough to place a precise cast to a group on the surface we could catch yearling stripers measuring 6-12 inches. Warm Creek was bubbling with these small fish. Stomach contents revealed that these small stripers were eating very small shad without much swimming ability. Therefore they could feed individually without a group effort to corral fast moving adult shad. We left the small stripers and headed uplake to Padre Bay. There were a few small boils in the main channel that dove before we were in range. Again when we entered the shade produced by the tall wall on the east side of Padre Bay, larger stripers were found feeding. They were up and down quickly but a good cast resulted in a 2.5 pound striper hookup. The big difference this week was that these stripers would now hit full size surface lures. Micro lures used last week were not required. Now a stealthy approach with a good stop in casting distance followed by an accurate cast resulted in one fish caught from every 2 or 3 quick boils. The next leg of the journey took us to Gregory Butte at 8 AM. Shade was gone but striper schools were seen slurping along the eastern shoreline. These fish exhibited the same behavior with tight schools and quick surface trips. Then things got much more exciting as a slurping school moved into shallow water in a weedy cove. They had obviously driven a school of larger shad into the shallow brush line. Now when we cast near these feeding fish they would hit the surface lure every time. It is amazing how much has changed in the past week. Shad have grown larger and faster while stripers have become more aggressive. Feeding time is random with a sure opportunity to see small slurps early and late each day followed by larger boils spaced throughout the day. Precise casts and small profile lures are still preferred but full size lures that cast much farther are producing as well. From Bullfrog to San Juan water clarity is still cloudy from runoff but small slurps are seen commonly throughout the day. These stripers are catchable with a fish caught from every other slurp. There is a lot more chasing than catching, but at the end of the day there will be enough great tasting small stripers for fish tacos. Bait fishing for stripers at the back of Moki and Lake Canyon where bottom depth is 30 feet continues to produce many more fish than caught by surface fishermen. These fish are about the same size as those caught on the surface with a few 3-pound fish added. Smallmouth are near shore and rocky structure. They too are getting excited about the waves of small shad driven past by feeding stripers. Don't be surprised to catch a bass in the middle of a shallow water striper boil. Bluegill have moved into the submerged tamarisk trees and can be caught on crappie jigs and live worms. Catfish are actively spawning now and are very aggressive on the sandy beaches near camp throughout the day.

Photo: Josh Jones ventured to Lake Powell on a field trip this spring with fellow biology students from BYU. They learned some fish facts but also caught some very nice stripers trolling and casting in Last Chance Bay. Striper fishing is different now with boiling action going on lakewide.






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